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Goldman Sachs revises Environmental Policy Framework

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Energy Global,

According to Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has revised its Environmental Policy Framework, tightening its policy on fossil fuel financing.

Goldman's updated environmental policy framework includes pledges to decline financing that directly supports new thermal coal mines and upstream Arctic oil exploration and development. Instead, the company is targeting US$750 billion in sustainable finance growth themes by 2030.

Bloomberg states that environmental groups have welcomed the move. The Rainforest Action Network and the Sierra Club have commented that the revisions on fossil fuel financing make Goldman's policy "now the strongest among the big six US banks," although the firm remains behind European lenders including Credit Agricole SA and BNP Parabas SA. In a joint statement, the groups said that the move to rule out Arctic oil projects marks "a crucial first step, among US banks, on ending financing expansion of oil and gas."

The report of Bloomberg also highlights how Goldman's new policy includes pledges to:

  • Decline financing projects of new coal-fired power plants in developing nations – a commitment that previously only applied to the US and developed countries – unless they have carbon capture and storage or equivalent emissions reduction technology
  • Engage with thermal coal mining companies on their plans to diversify away from the fossil fuel, and phase out financing for any that don't have such strategies "within a reasonable timeframe."
Click here to read Bloomberg's full report.

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